Multi-layered street photography – Eyal Binehaker
A short essay on understanding some codes in Binehaker’s photography.
I could define several subgenres within Street photography, which can be graded in difficulty and, as such, in excellence for some, in plain good luck for others. I’ll explain: multylayered photographs can come from a lucky strike or can be a product of extreme hard work, where a photographer realizes the environment and anticipates a situation that would be unique and waits for the right moment to click.
Thus, I would propose
1 – Multilayered photography.
2 – People in candid situations. (probably most of my body of work)
3 – Daily routines. (idem)
In multilayered photography, the relations between subject and environment come together in an almost cosmic way. As if subject and environment are linked by some sort of magic. The harmony is perfect even when a range of contrasts seem to fight each other, in a game of linked meanings. Disharmony may take place, striking the viewer with a sense of awe or estrangement.
Eyal Binehaker [a.k.a Eyealbin] is one of those photographers who excels at this genre of photography. http://www.eyalbinehaker.com/StreetEncounters.html
In Eyal Binehaker‘s work, we often see several elements come together as one living organism, sometimes in harmony, sometimes struggling to be kept together, but the liaison is there. If you don’t see the purpose of a certain photo, you have probably failed to decode the moment captured.
Some of his work is opaque, but as you come in intimate contact with his photography, you’ll know there’s something there that needs attention.
This is a perfect example of how subject and environment come together in perfect harmony. There are two separate elements which function as one: the woman smoking and the bus stop smoke shaped scribble.
Only a good street photographer can turn a man in a bus stop into a king.
The following photograph is a perfect example on how light contrasts (not social contrasts) play a game:
The man’s neck collar is directly opposing the black neck of the model on the left. This disharmony makes this photo not only extremely hard to get as it gives it its purpose. Being in the right place at the right time is a key element for an excellent photographer.
Eyal uses a rangefinder [Epson R-D1s, CV 15mm/f4.5 & CV 25mm/f4] for his street photography, which allows him to get very close to his subjects.
Sometimes he just shoots people waving at someone.
Is it? Wrong. This is another example of two layers creating one single exquisite bond.
Eyal works have a strong social intent, where society is documented in a strong way, blatant and raw. As in Felix Lupa’s work http://www.felixlupa.com/ (upcoming post) people appear stripped from the shallowness of the viewer’s prejudice. So we, the viewers, are confronted (slapped) with a social reality that’s so much easier to look away from. As I was informed by a reader, the bus sign says “Because we care”.
But once again there’s more to it, something that comes joining in, harmonizing the several layers that compose Eyal’s photography.
Geometry plays a very important part in Eyal’s work on understanding a subject’s placement in the environment and its correlations.
Circles of similarity provide context metamorphosis.
Circular patterns in composition:
Shapes and context:
If you aren’t familiar with Eyal’s work, I hope this brief text spikes your curiosity into seeing more and following him. There’s so much more to see and it’s never boring. That’s why his photography hooks me in.
His book is available here:
I am absolutely sure he will enter history as a fantastic reference of the new generation of Street photographers.
Thanks for reading.